Custer State Park in South Dakota

Custer State Park in South Dakota
We saw a LOT of these guys at Custer State Park in South Dakota!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Concert Memories: Grateful Dead, Louisville, KY 07/06/1990

The Grateful Dead at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville was my first real concert.  Let that one sink in for a moment.  Seriously, I remember seeing a couple of local bands at festivals, I remember a cover band/don't do drugs act playing at my middle school.  BUT, my first real concert was this one. 

Check out that "Ticketron" ticket, by the way.

I do remember that even our crappy seats for this show were over 20 bucks, which was pretty expensive for the time.

I went to this one with my cousin Matt, who had just gotten his driver's license.  I wasn't old enough to have mine yet.  The Venue, Cardinal Stadium, was big enough to almost hold the entire population of our hometown of Owensboro.  AND, as I said before, this was the Grateful Dead.  We were way out of our league at that time.

We heard that we should get there early, and we did.  I remember us walking around the parking/vending area.  The whole vending thing at Dead shows was a lot of fun too.  I bought a couple of bracelets from a guy, and when I said this was my first Dead show, he gave me a couple extras!

It was a HOT day.

We went in to the stadium and hung out some.  Bruce Hornsby was the opening act, and we loved him.  We were big Don Henley fans at the time too.  He performed "The End of the Innocence" which he had written with Henley, and we loved it.

The Dead were great too, but I think this show gets better in my memory than it was for me that day.  My cousin and I were pretty darn tired by the end of the day.  We didn't realize that the Dead performed such marathon shows.  Plus, there is a LONG break between sets and opening act.  I remember them opening with "Hell In A Bucket" and also doing a lot of songs I had heard off of the Skull & Roses album, one of my all time favorites.

A few side notes....  I mentioned before that the $20+ for these tickets was pricey at the time.  It is almost funny to me how out of hand concert ticket prices have gotten.  I remember listening to a radio show maybe 10 years ago where they talked about good concert values coming to my area over the summer.  I don't think they mentioned a single show under $80.

Again, this was a Grateful Dead concert.  We saw a LOT of things that were totally new to us this day.  I don't want to mention most of them, but I do recall that I saw two women making out.  First time I ever saw that!

I remember a giant dancing skeleton puppet that was very cool.  I remember reading a newspaper article the next day that a LOT of Deadheads were busted for drugs at the show.  I also remember all of the Deadheads that we interacted with being very friendly.

This would be one of the last Grateful Dead shows with Brent Mydland, who would die a few weeks later.

I would get to see the Grateful Dead a couple more times before Jerry died and the band folded.  I would get to see some of the Dead's side projects here and there too (mostly RatDog).  I have friends who count their Grateful Dead concerts in the hundreds.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Coliseum, Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky

The postcard notes on the back- The Coliseum, Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky.  Completed in 1956, the gigantic Coliseum has a maximum seating capacity of 20,220 and this auditorium is one of the largest in the world.
The new state fairgrounds cover an area of 375 acres and the entire cost is $16,000,000.

Friday, January 25, 2019

"Hunting the President" by Mel Ayton

I really enjoyed reading Mel Ayton's "Hunting the President". 

The book is a very easy to read telling of various assassination attempts and threats on US Presidents, starting with FDR.

The author doesn't get into much biographical information on the presidents, which I think is appropriate for the book.  He does give just enough to set things up though.

Also, Ayton tells a good amount about the Secret Service working with each President.  He gives a brief description of how each of the Presidents related to those protecting them.  I enjoyed reading about how Jimmy Carter's relationship with his Secret Service changed and became very different after he left office.  I also thought it was fascinating that some of the Secret Service may have had a good relationship with the president, but not as good of a relationship with the spouse.

Mel gives some info on how each President viewed the possibility of an attempt on their lives.  Some expressed that they felt very safe with their Secret Service.  Some expressed a religious faith that helped them deal with the stress of a potential attack.

Each chapter gives a brief name, date and description of the various threats that were dealt with during that president's term(s).  These are mostly a couple of paragraphs describing the situation.

I learned a lot of interesting things from the book.  It seems there have been a lot of people who have shot their mouths off at bars about their plans.  Many of these people would later find themselves questioned by authorities, and often also serving jail time.  Many people in jail have also made threats for various reasons.  I also found it interesting that President Reagan briefly thought about trying to meet with the person who unsuccessfully tried to assassinate him.

This is just a fascinating book, especially if you are interested in Presidential history.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites

I picked up the very interesting book, "Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?" at a book store the other day....  It just looked like a book that belonged on my bookshelf.

As someone who has visited many sites associated with Presidents, this is just a nice, handy book to have around. 

Credited to Brian Lamb and the Staff of C-SPAN, "Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?" is a nice resource for people like me who like to visit Presidential places.  This book deals exclusively with burial sites (though obviously other places linked to each President find their way into the book).

Each former POTUS has a few pages about their life (and death).  Info on where they are buried is given.  If known, their last words are also noted!

I know, you can pretty easily look this stuff up or find it fast on Wikipedia, but it is nice having one quick reference volume to turn to.

Monday, January 21, 2019

21-C Museum Hotel in Louisville KY

We stepped in to the 21-C Museum Hotel in Louisville while we were in town.  I have been curious about this place for a while, but I wanted to stop by when I had a good amount of time to take it all in.

This was a good idea, because there is a LOT to take in.

As someone who has worked with resin casting, I have admired their penguins...  There is something cool about them.  You know, they are kinda like a cool toy you might have bought as a small kid, only gigantic.  They are exactly the kind of thing I have made before in resin.... and mine would be an inch or two tall.  Not four feet tall.

So, we walked in and the place DID feel more like a museum than a hotel.  Very slick and modern. 

Right behind the front desk you immediately note 4 life sized (and anatomically correct) detailed sculptures of unclothed children.  So......  they are going for a bit of an "art that may make you feel uncomfortable" vibe here.

As far as a museum goes...  this is impressive.  There are several displays.  Many paintings and larger projects.  There are some things that are difficult to describe.  There are smoking bowls that release smoke..  smoke that looks like jelly fish floating through the air. 
By the elevators...  a camera films you as you walk by.  You are projected onto the wall, slightly distorted. 

Artsy painting and photos hang on the walls.  Many are extremely artsy and symbolic.  Thinking back, I don't think I saw a basic landscape, or general photo anywhere.

You can buy one of their signature penguins.  You can also buy other animals made with the same process.  These are several thousand dollars, though you can buy a small ceramic penguin for less than $40.

 21C is different.  You know when I travel, I like to stay somewhere old and historic.....  So I'm not sure I would want to stay at a 21C.  Even though this one in Louisville is in an old tobacco and bourbon warehouse, it is still too slick and modern for me.

Still, I am intrigued by what they are doing here.  I did pick up a few things in their gift shop, and I will definitely be checking these Museum/Hotels out when we travel.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Zachary Taylor Monument and Tomb in Louisville KY

This unused postcard probably from the 60s says on the back-Zachary Taylor Monument and Tomb Louisville, Kentucky.  President Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, rests forever in the old Taylor family burying ground in the National Cemetery.  Located on the Brownsboro Road U. S. 42.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Concert Memories: Natalie Merchant, Louisville, KY 02/28/1996

I saw Natalie Merchant at the Palace in Louisville over 20 years ago!  Man, that seems like a long time now!  Natalie had really just started her solo career at this point, and her Tigerlily album had been out for a while at this point.  Still, it was hot, and there are some great songs on that album.

The music was great....  I think Natalie was already doing less and less music from her 10,000 Maniacs days, but I remember some Maniacs songs.  She opened the show with her solo song, San Andreas Fault, coming out and dancing around a candle behind a curtain.  It was a cool and ghostly affect.

On a personal note, this was the first time that me and my future wife would "go out" off of campus.  It was our first date away from college.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Omni Louisville Hotel

I walked through the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville Kentucky.  We were here just briefly, so I didn't have time to give it a fair shake, but it looked cool and modern.  here are a few photos...  mostly of the market place area inside.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Postcard of Municipal Bridge connecting Louisville Ky. and Jeffersonville, Ind.

This old postcard showing Louisville and Jeffersonville is undated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1951 postcard of Union Station, Louisville Kentucky

This postcard was sent from Louisville in 1951, showing Union Station in Louisville.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Louisville, Kentucky Wharf Scene Along the Ohio River

This nice older unused postcard shows a great Louisville scene....  the area looks VERY different now!

It shows the Belle of Louisville, the Renown, Delta Queen, and the "General" locomotive.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Brown Hotel- Louisville, KY

Actually eating a Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel has been big on my list ever since we visited it briefly last year.

This is a spectacular hotel with a lot of history.  The restaurant here, J. Graham's Café, which is attractive and all.  I will say that the tables for two were a bit close together (you might bump elbows with the people at the next table).

On the day we stopped by we had below average service.  I think our waitress was trying, but we noticed the people beside us also ordered a hot brown.... after us.  Their's was brought out sooner (they had finished it before we got ours).  Our waitress was apologetic, telling us that a large order went in right before ours, and she offered free dessert.  OK, we will forgive slow service from free dessert.

Between the two of us, we ordered the famous hot brown and a not so famous burger.  The hot brown was ok.  It is unique.  I know they brag about being the place where it was invented and all..... but it wasn't the best hot brown I have ever had.

In their defense, our food was very hot when we got it.  I understand there are busy days and all...  and some wait staff put their orders in at different time....

We did get free dessert too, which was nice.

This is kind of a do it and check it off of your check list experience though.  I had the hot brown at the Brown.......  I am glad I did that but I will probably pick another restaurant next time I am in the area.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Seelbach Hilton- Louisville, KY

We were able to swing through and spend a little bit of time at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville again recently!  Like my previous visit, we didn't stay here or anything, we just dropped by.

The hotel is beautiful, and simply perfect.  I think this is my favorite hotel in Louisville.  THIS is what a nice historic hotel should be.

On this visit, we took a couple of books along with us....  I thought it would be fun to read some of "The Great Gatsby" in here....  since F. Scott Fitzgerald spent some time here...  and modeled a scene from the book on the hotel!  Also, right at 100 years ago, an intoxicated F. Scott was tossed from the hotel!

I remember reading the book in school and not caring much for it.  Its just not my kind of book.  Still, I thought this would be a nice day......  and venue, for reading the book again.

There is a nice Starbucks here (I know, when I am in Louisville I almost always get Heine Bros.).  So we had some coffee and just enjoyed reading here.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Galt House- Louisville KY

After a VERY brief visit to the Galt House last year, I really wanted to get back and check the place out again more thoroughly!

Luckily an old pal works there now and he offered to give us a nice thorough tour of the hotel!

If I understand things correctly, there are basically two buildings making up the hotel.  There is a very cool glassed in pedestrian bridge linking them.  That pedestrian bridge has lots of seating, a bar, a coffee shop, etc. in it.  There is also an enclosed area with birds in it!

This glassed in area has plenty of seating, and it offers some great downtown views.

The bar area is partially a fish tank.  Seriously.  See my photo....  but the place where you would put your drink is a glassed in fish tank with Cichlids swimming around.

Before our tour, we met our friend at Café Magnolia on the second floor for breakfast.  We had a very nice buffet of the standards and more here.  I had some great bacon, sausage and biscuits, fruit, etc.  I wish I had taken a photo.....  It was some quality grub!

Anyway, he took us all over the place.  I really was impressed with the views from some of the upper meeting room areas and restaurant.  In some of these areas, you can get some of the best views of Louisville.  I am putting several photos here because I was so impressed.  There is an upper area restaurant that doesn't rotate entirely, but there are two smaller sections that rotate slowly.  I have included a few photos of tables by these windows just to give you an idea of whats available.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Galt House Louisville Kentucky

This old postcard, I am guessing from the 60s, shows Louisville's the Galt House.  It notes the hotel has 714 rooms, 3 different restaurants, 2 cocktail lounges, 24 banquet-meeting rooms, and exciting entertainment.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Coffee Tree Books and Fuzzy Duck Coffee in Morehead Kentucky

While on the road recently, I stopped by the Fuzzy Duck Coffee shop in Morehead.  It is connected to the Coffee Tree Bookstore.

I expected a very small bookstore, but it is roomy.  They have a lot of space.  In fact, there is a large stage there too!  I am sure this gets used for some interesting presentations in this college town.

The coffee shop was great too, with lots of room and all.  It looks like they use coffee from Coffee Times in Lexington.  We had some very nice lattes.